Monday, November 10, 2008

What is success?

This week, my small group curriculum challenges us to look at success from God's perspective.

Big Idea:
How do you define success? What drives you? The world has its explanation and prescription, but as Christ followers we must embrace the definition and truth of success presented to us by the View Master – God.

Summary:
What is success? Is it the accumulation of things? Is it simply about achieving more, acquiring more, and possessing more? Your answer will be based on the source of your worldview. The world’s view of success is really quite straightforward: getting what you want while gaining fame or prosperity. However, the ultimate view master, God Himself, reveals to us that the purpose of life does not exist in the abundance of things. There is more to life than what you own, where you live, what you drive, and who you know. But for many people, even some Christians, having more is the prime motivation in their lives. Why do people exchange what is eternal for what is temporary? It is so sad and frustrating to see people giving up the victory, freedom, joy, and peace found in Christ for the trappings of this world. It is heartbreaking to watch the destruction of holy matrimony over the pursuit of momentary pleasure.

God has provided us with several criteria for determining whether or not we are living a successful life. He tells us that relationship matters. Our relationship with Jesus Christ must matter more than anything else. He tells us that serving others and putting the interests of others above our own is a measurement of successful living. God tells us that living lives of faithfulness to Him, our families, our church, and our kingdom assignment is success. Finally, maintaining a credible and relevant witness to a lost world is a component of success in the eyes of God. We cannot forget what matters most to God. We must allow God, through His Word, to be our View Master and the definer of success in our lives.

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

Matthew 13:44-46
What does Jesus say we must be willing to give up as we pursue true success? Give examples of false success. Discuss how we can stay focused on the prize and not get trapped in the pursuit of temporal success.

Matthew 16:24-26
Again, what must we give up in order to gain ultimate success? What is the result of pursuing worldly success? Share with the group an area of success in your life that doesn’t have anything to do with money and fame.

Matthew 25:14-30
How does the faithful exercise and use of the talents God has given us contribute to ultimate success? How does Jesus describe people who aren’t faithful with what God has entrusted to them? Share examples of how selfish living, the pursuit o personal gain, and unfaithfulness have ultimately brought defeat rather than success. Discuss some of the talents God has given us that we must put into use for His glory.

Taking Action: What is your definition of success? What are you pouring your life into? Honestly assess your life and determine if you are investing in temporal success or eternal success. Make the necessary corrections today. Don’t know what to do? Start by reading God’s instruction book – The Bible.

Ministry Time

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